Monday, July 16, 2018

How to Make the Most Out of Your New Hire

How to Make the Most Out of Your New Hire
The hiring process is a lengthy and tedious journey to say the very least. From the initial meetings to their first day, the application and recruiting process is fraught with peril. There are hundreds of decisions that need to be made that will impact not only your team but your company. Most HR professionals are very well aware of this, and there have been significant improvements in the past decade to streamline the onboarding process. We are collectively doing a much better job as a whole bringing in new team members, but there is always room for growth, so before their first day here is how to make the most out of your new hire. 

How to Make the Most Out of Your New Hire

Before your fresh-faced newbie lands in their cubicle, office, or workstation there is still a bit of work that needs to be done. Many organizations are welcoming new hires into the seams with nifty and new innovative ways. There are always those that suffer from confirmation bias that set up the new hire for failure before they ever walk in the door. This unintentional action will undermine the success of the new hire, repeating the hiring process, and wasted resources.

Change Your Mindset

  • “ The last two hires I brought into this department could not perform their job to our standards; I am sure that Sarah will be the same way.”
  • “Remember Jill who worked in the call center? We gave her a bonus after only six months and then she quit without notice.”
  • “His recommendations could have been better. I will need to keep a very careful eye on his work.”

Have you ever found yourself thinking this after filling a new position? If so you are likely setting both your new hire and yourself up for failure. If you felt the employee could not do the work required you would not have offered the position. Feel confident in your decision and approach the new hire as you would any other employee.

Here are five ways you might be setting yourself up for failure. These will signal to your new hire that you are expecting the worst or poor performance from your new hire.

How to Make the Most Out of Your New Hire
  • Calling the first 30 days a probationary period
  • Small or  single infractions result in a formal disciplinary report
  • Not allowing PTO eligibility until six months of employment 
  • “Proof” of illness or bereavement leave
  • Restricted access to required resources or information

At this point, a few of you might be saying that those types of policies are only there to ensure consistency or serves as financial protection. I am not saying that there are some aspects of these policies that are appropriate for your particular type of business.

However, now might be an excellent opportunity to revisit your current policies, especially if they were implemented more than five years ago.

Are your company’s practices and policies designed to bring out the best in your new hires?

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Monday, July 9, 2018

How to Avoid Feeling Burned Out at Work

How to Avoid Feeling Burned Out at WorkHave you ever felt overwhelmed at work? Intense pressure from your coworkers and/or boss? Feels like no one cares or acknowledges how hard you work? Chances are you have, and I understand where you are coming from because I have been there too. However, when you are going through it, you will feel very alone with this issue. Most people who experience burnout often don’t notice until it is too late. Most will go to great lengths to put on a brave face and remain silent. This is, unfortunately, one reason that by the time it is noticed it has developed into a critical problem. Here is how to avoid feeling burned out at work and what to look for in others. 

How to Avoid Feeling Burned Out at Work

There are more than a few causes for burnout but here are the top three reasons:
  • Political Climate
    • There is no denying that an unstable political climate can raise your stress levels. You find yourself worrying about how new government changes will not only affect the economy but your position at work or benefits. 
  • Social Overwhelm
    • On top of your work and family interactions, you are connected to people all around the world 24/7. This bombardment of information can cause stress and anxiety in your life. Especially if there is an unstable economy or government. 
  • Understaffing
    • This is simply doing more with fewer resources whether it is staff, equipment, or resources. When an organization scales back its workforce, your team's workload will increase at a staggering rate. This leaves your team feeling powerless and undervalued. 

Address The Issues Head on

Once you begin to understand the sources of your stress, immediately take action to limit your intake of negativity. If it is a particular individual or the political climate you need to be aware of the situation. Small doses are fine but know when you need to stay aware and be around people of stories with positive energy.

Create a boundary between you and the source of your stress. You would be surprised how many complain about social media or other sources of stress but never create a barrier. Boundaries are there to help yourself be more comfortable and protect yourself.

How to Avoid Feeling Burned Out at WorkBe open and honest with your higher-ups. It is likely that those in your office are feeling the same way about the lack of resources so a conversation will not be a surprise. Your first step to approaching this situation is to be open and honest. Don’t beat around the bush talking about the weather, simply cut to the heart of your concerns and where you are coming from. If you also come with suggestions, it will make solving the problem more manageable. If your boss does not take your concerns seriously or actively dismisses your concerns it might be time to consider other employment opportunities. No position is worth sacrificing your mental and emotional health.

The Take-Away

Find a company that will value the feeling of its employees and actively tries to prevent burnout. If you are currently looking for a position, be upfront with your interviewer and ask about the turnover, workload, pace, and how issues are handled. You will never get an entirely accurate picture of what you're getting into, but you will be able to pick up some critical clues to guide your decision.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

What Happens After I Receive IRS Letter 226-J?

What Happens After I Receive IRS Letter 226-J?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is complicated. The ACA penalty process being initiated by the IRS is no exception. Employers receiving notifications (IRS letter 226-J) must respond within 30 days to avoid further action by the IRS. This year the IRS will begin collecting penalties from businesses that did not comply with the ACA Employer Mandate in 2015. Here is what happens after you receive IRS letter 226-J.

What Happens After I Receive IRS Letter 226-J?

Like I have already stated you will only have 30 days to respond to the IRS. However, depending on whether you agree with the assessment made the IRS you may need more time to review all of your information. If you request additional time within these 30 days, you may be granted an extension.

Strategizing Your Response

As an HR manager or a member of the benefits department, you should not handle this alone. Contact your CFO, owner, or any other internal experts that should be a part of the conversation. Depending on your organization it might be in your best interest to seek external or internal legal counsel.

Understand Your Liability

While your current 226-J letter is about your compliance in 2015, the penalty process will not only be limited to that year or specific payments. Work with your team to ensure you fully understand the scope of payment and penalties you may owe for any additional years.

Review Forms 1094-C and 1095-C

If you are in disagreement with the IRS, it is essential that you review your Form 1094-C and 1095-C. It could be that the inaccuracy was the cause of the incorrect penalty assessment. If you need to correct any information on these forms, do not resubmit an amended version to the IRS. You will need to make these corrections in your response to the IRS.

Respond to IRS Letter 226-J

What Happens After I Receive IRS Letter 226-J?It is critical that you respond to the IRS within 30 days. Responding is especially true if you do not agree with the IRS. You will need to complete Form 14764 to return to the IRS and indicate whether you agree with their assessment. If you agree with the penalties, you will need to include your organization's payment.

If you disagree with the assessment, you will need to explain your discrepancies. You will need to provide extensive information proving your claim as well as specific corrections that need to be made to your previously filed forms. 

Wait For Confirmation by The IRS

Once you have submitted Form 14764, you will receive IRS letter 227. This letter will contain what steps your organization must take next. If you disputed the penalty payment, your letter might request more information or even a new amount. If you disagreed with the penalty, you could then ask for a Pre-Assessment Conference with the IRS Office of Appeals. This, however, must be completed within 30 days of receiving IRS letter 227.

2018 ACA Compliance and Reporting

Are you looking for a full-service ACA compliance and reporting software? Well, look no further! ACAwise is an all-inclusive online software with secure and reliable ACA compliance tracking year round. With our ACA solution, you won’t have to worry about receiving another 226-J letter from the IRS again. Contact our 100% US-based support team for more information.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

What Employers Need to Know About 2018 ACA Compliance

Employer researches changes in the Affordable Care Act for 2018 ACA Compliance This time last year we were all watching anxiously as Washington discussed the possible “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No matter what side of the debate you were on, the thought of having to start from scratch with a new set of rules was a daunting thought for all HR managers and employers. However, as we currently stand, the ACA is holding steady which means you are now moving forward with planned compliance with current regulations. Here is what employers need to know about 2018 ACA compliance.

What Employers Need to Know About 2018 ACA Compliance

This past year did see the end of the individual mandate. Now individuals will no longer be penalized if they do not carry insurance under the ACA. However, on the other hand, the employer mandate is still holding steady.

The most significant development we have seen this year is employers receiving enforcement notices concerning 2016 ACA compliance (IRS letter 226J). Approximately 30,000 notices have already been sent out to employers in 2018.

Employers and HR manager get together to plan 2018 ACA compliance for the employer mandate Congress is still currently considering a bipartisan bill that would make several small technical modifications to the ACA. The Commonsense Reporting Act (H.R. 3919 and S.1908) which was proposed this year would ease some of the regulatory burdens on applicable businesses. It would help to reduce cases where new employees get an individual ACA subsidy after being added to the business’s healthcare plan. This would reduce the costs for both the employees and the employer.

Currently, employers and HR should continue to keep a close eye on regulation changes if they offer wellness benefits to employees. Even if the ACA does not change regulations on wellness plans are supposed to be updated. However, filing issues for regulatory boards have delayed the updates.

2018 ACA Compliance and Reporting

ACAwise is an all-inclusive online software with secure and reliable ACA compliance tracking year round. Simply upload your employee information each day to ensure your full-time employees are receiving the ACA required minimum coverage. From your dashboard, you can see compliance tracking the form of reports like Eligibility & Affordability, Monitoring & Forecasting Compliance, and even Penalty Calculations.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

6 Powerful HR Tips to Unlock Employee Potential This Summer

Summer time in the office requires special tips and tricks to keep your team focus while it is beautiful out
Summer is here, the change of season brings several human resource related challenges unique to this time of year. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and your staff is sitting quietly in their cubicle. To help keep your employees invested in their work here are six powerful tips to unlock summer management.

6 Powerful HR Tips to Unlock Employee Potential This Summer

1. Working on A Summer Day

Picture this: It is a beautiful summer day, but you and your staff are inside working hard to grow the business and revenue. As the days get longer, you will find yourself losing focus, and this can also be said for your staff. If you find your team lacks motivation here are a few ways you can help.

  • Encourage your staff to take vacations
    • Studies show that when your employees take a vacation, they return rejuvenated and refocused.
  • Be Flexible
    • Hold a standing meeting, go outside for a walk, or let your staff work outside for an hour. Or if possible let your team leave early on Friday to start the weekend.
  • Update Goals
    • Usually, goal setting is done at the beginning of the year, but the summer is the perfect time to set new challenges for you and your staff members.

2. Summer Dress Code

As temperatures climb into the 90s and even 100s, it might be time to update your dress code. While your business might have a more lenient dress code, it is still worth updating the code, so there are no awkward situations.

The dress code needs to reflect the season while remaining comfortable and business appropriate.

3. Summer Internships

If you experience an increase in business during the summer months hiring an intern is the perfect solution. However, before you bring on a student, you should be aware of the Department of Labor (DOL) laws that pertain to payment procedures.

Use the primary beneficiary test to determine if your intern is an employee or not.

4. Summer Health Risks

Manufactures, landscapers, and any employee that has employees working in high temperatures need to be extremely mindful.

If your employees are exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time, there could be health risks and possible endangerment.

While there are no specific standards for working in a hot environment, you should still recognize hazards in the work environment.

5. Scheduling During Summer

No matter your business type we can all agree that summer is a time of weird and busy schedules. From baseball games, summer camp, vacation, and everything that goes along with it your employees need flexibility. However, this should not affect the business, and you must do everything possible to make it as smooth as possible.

An easy way to keep your shift schedules and time off requests inline is to ask your staff to request off at least two weeks in advance. Also, have the request processed by their manager first before it comes to you. They work close to the individual and will be able to make an informed discussion.

6. Get Organized

One of the most vital things you can do for your business this season is to get or remain organized. I know that tax season 2019 seems a long way out, but in reality, with so many employees it is good to be prepared. In addition to payroll related tax information, you will also need to maintain ACA compliance and health care coverage details. Thankfully ACAwise offers an all-inclusive online software with secure and reliable ACA compliance tracking year round.

Simply upload your employee information, health insurance plan(s) details and our program will automatically analyze and track your information each day to ensure your full-time employees (or full-time equivalent employees) are receiving the ACA required minimum coverage. From your dashboard, you can see compliance tracking in the form of reports like Eligibility & Affordability, Monitoring & Forecasting Compliance, and even Penalty Calculations.

Since all of your information is already in our system at the end of the year you can e-file with the IRS in just a matter of minutes. If you are interested in adding ACA compliance tracking to your business please contact our US-based support team.

We hope these tips will help you to boost your summer management. Try them out to find what works best for you and your business. What other strategies do you use during the summer? Let us know in the comment section below! And sign-up for your free ACA demo today!

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Monday, June 11, 2018

What Can HR Do With Workplace Suicide on The Rise?

What Can HR Do With Workplace Suicide on The Rise?Suicide. It is an unbelievably sad and tragic event that has impacted hundreds of thousands of friends, families, and colleagues across the United States. In the wake of yet another sobering loss, many are concerned. As the 10th leading cause of death in the US, many of you might be asking yourself, “What can HR do with workplace suicide on the rise?”

What Can HR Do With Workplace Suicide on The Rise?

This rise in suicides is found across all sexes, racial, and ethnic groups. However, the most significant spike is in middle-aged adults between 45 and 64 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in a recent study that many factors besides mental illness could trigger suicide.

Suicide does not merely affect those closest to the individual, but it also affects their coworkers and the work environment. When a suicide happens in the workplace, the impact can be unimaginable and can cause severe distress for the organization as a whole.

Suicide in the Workplace

As we have previously stated, suicide rates overall are rising but there is also a disturbing amount of those committed in the workplace. In the US between 2003-2010 more than 1,700 individuals killed themselves while at work.
It has happened at a Bank of America Corporation call center in New Mexico, Apple Inc’s Cupertino Califonia headquarters, and Ford Motors plant outside of Detroit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of suicides at work was 291 in 2016.

Education is Essential

No matter the size or business of your organization it is vital to educate yourself and your employees on the warning signs. If you feel that an employee could be a risk to themselves, you should talk to them with compassion. It is typically difficult to resist talking to someone when they are genuine and compassionate. 

However, I am not a psychologist, and I encourage you to add a suicide prevention plan in your OnBoarding package. Also an annual or biannual class for your employees will help prepare them and teach them more about the warning signs.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

What You Need to Know About Exempt Employees

When you welcome a new team member on you may see two words floating around: Tax exempt and nonexempt. Isn’t exempt just another word for “excused?” If so, what are they excused from? In this HR guide to understanding exempt employees, we will clarify what these terms mean.

So what does exempt mean? That is an excellent question with a reasonably simple answer. Your new employee is excused from the rules in the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. So that means they might not be entitled to minimum wage or other protections most employees receive.

What You Need to Know About Exempt Employees

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a set of rules and regulations about how individuals should be treated in a work environment. These rules include minimum wage requirements, leave, overtime, record-keeping, and other protections. Regarding classification, the FLSA divides employees into two sectors: exempt and nonexempt. The federal government does this to separate those whom the laws apply.

What Does it Mean to be Exempt?

These types of employees are exempt or not covered by Fair Labor Standards Act rules. Because they are salary and have specific responsibilities, they do not receive overtime and may be ineligible for minimum wage standards.

However, one dangerous misconception is that all salaried employees are automatically classified as exempt. This is not true and assuming this could cost your business severe federal penalties.

Exempt status is linked to the individuals’ work duties, salary and their independence in the work environment. They must meet all of the following conditions to classify as exempt, as outlined by the Department of Labor.

So what is the minimum salary for exempt employees 2018:

Salary Level: Exempt employees are paid at least $55 per week or $23,660 per year.

Salary Base: Your employee's salary is concrete and will not change as a result of performance or sales.

Duties: Employees must be in one of the following roles: Administration, computer/systems, executive level, outside sales, or professional. Your employee does not have to possess one of the titles but rather the duties of the position influence their status.

Simplify Your ACA Compliance

Once you check that task off your agenda, you can move on to the million other tasks begging for your attention. Want a head start on your ACA compliance? Sign-up for your free ACAwise demo, today!

ACAwise is an all-in-one ACA reporting software designed to track and monitor your ACA compliance throughout the year. Then when it is time to e-file we will create Form 1095 and 1094 on your behalf! You will then review your forms and we will securely e-file directly with the IRS. We will even mail your recipient copies from our South Carolina based office the next business day.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

How to Make Your Team Meeting More Engaging

Team meeting where the staff is not engaged and the meeting is boring
Human Resource team meetings are essential, but often the attendees are unengaged and unable to deliver any useful input. Team meetings are already notorious for being boring, and many of your employees frankly think of most of them as a waste of time.

So it is up to you to bring the spark to your meeting and keep your employees engaged. To help you get started, we are sharing how to can make your team meeting more engaging today.

How to Make Your Team Meeting More Engaging

1. Encourage Discussion

People tend to avoid disagreements and tension in meetings, so they avoid specific topics. However, this is an opportunity to spark a healthy discussion among colleagues. Get the critical issues on the table and encourage your employees to voice their opinions and concern.

2. Team Meeting Agenda

Before the meeting, ask your staff to bring a team meeting agenda with talking points. It is so easy for a team meeting to turn into a lecture instead of a productive and mutually beneficial discussion. Give your staff members an opportunity to contribute their points. The chance to contribute and participate will help to keep your employees engaged.

3. Standing Meeting

Yay HR has learned how to host an engaging meeting If your organization is anything like mine, my team and I are continually sitting during the day. So instead of sitting during your meeting try removing the chairs. It is a proven fact that attendees are more engaged and are more creative during brainstorming sessions while standing. Now if the meeting is longer than 15 minutes alternating between sitting and standing to keep the mojo flowing.

4. Visual Simulation

Add visual tools to your meetings, such as graphics, sticky notes (my favorite), or idea mapping. Visual tools add more, and they will help to drive the meeting points home. If this is an unusually long meeting, your attendees can look back at the visual aids to remind them of all the goals and plan accordingly.

5. Meeting Groups

Break your team into smaller groups for a more in-depth discussion of the topics and have them come back together. This will give more people a chance to talk and contribute. The more your employees get the chance to speak and add ideas the more engaged and involved they become.

Also, for shyer team members this is far more comfortable than contributing in front of a large group. Just because a staff member will not speak up in a larger group does not mean they do not have ideas that could help your business succeed.

We hope these tips will help you create more engagement in your team meetings. Try them out to find which ones work best for you and your business. What other strategies do you use in your team meetings? Let us know!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

This New Hire Onboarding Checklist Will Blow Your Mind

As a human resources professional, you understand the value of employee onboarding. From better job performance to higher retention the benefits of onboarding are quantifiable. Failing to properly onboard a new hire can cost you and your business a significant amount of time and money. So to help you we put together this new hire onboarding checklist that will blow your mind.

Get your employees started on the right foot before they even enter the workplace. There is a slew of relevant documents and paperwork that must be filed and prepared beforehand.

This New Hire Onboarding Checklist Will Blow Your Mind

Before Starting Work

Prepare Relevant Paperwork: Transactional Onboarding
Before your new hire starts their first day, you must prepare all of the relevant paperwork and information. Begin finding and recording the employee’s basic information.
  • Employee Name
  • Date of Hire
  • Employee Contact Details
  • Additional Information
  • W-4
  • I-9
  • Insurance Forms
  • Direct Deposit Forms
  • The Non-Disclosure Agreement

Position, Goals, and Tasks
During the training period, your new hire will need to work closely with a supervisor or a trusted mentor. This will help to ensure they are properly oriented to the position, policies, and facilities.

  • Speak with the supervisor about the new hire and their role/position within the organization.
  • Discuss the set goals for the new hire and appropriate task that will help acclimate the employee:
    • Employee Position
    • Employee Goals
    • Tasks and Projects

Employee Workstation and Equipment
Before your employee starts their first day it is important to prepare their workstation in advance to avoid delays. For example:
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Telephone
  • Computer
  • Office Supplies
  • (Go the extra mile and have a t-shirt, mug, or backpack with your company’s logo on the employee’s chair or desk.)

Give Access
Prepare all the login information they will require.
  • WiFi Password
  • Email List of Coworkers
  • Department Phone Numbers
  • (Remember that there are often additional passwords or keys they will need for their position.)

Company Accounts:
  • Company Email
  • Company Phone Line
  • Company Accounts

Prepare Employees Benefits Package
It is imperative that each of your employees understand what benefits are available for their position. Here is information your employees will require:
  • Confirm Position Funding
  • Example Benefits Package
    • What they will receive
    • Budget Details
    • Potential promotions
    • Salary Range
    • Vacation time and Health Benefits
  • Summary of All Information (Hard Copy & Digital)

New Hire’s First Day

Often, new employees start during busy seasons where deadlines are hurtling towards you at an alarming rate. While your staff tries to keep up with the increased workflow, it is easy to overlook new hire training. To ensure you adequately onboard your new hire, here is what you need to know.

Avoid the confusion by creating a straightforward schedule and make the new employee your number one priority on his/her first day.

Office Tour
Before starting their first day take your new employee around the office. Show them all the relevant and common areas of the workplace such as:
  • Kitchen/Break Area
  • Bathroom
  • Work Station
  • Your Office
  • Human Resources
  • Managers/ Supervisors Office
  • IT Department

Your Goals and Expectations
If you want your employee to perform well, you need to tell them what is expected of them explicitly. Give a detailed outline of their position with goals and deadlines. Here is what you should consider:
  • What goods and/or services does their position produce?
  • What are their long-term and short-term goals?
  • What is the impact of their position on the rest of the team?
  • What are your expectations for their behavior toward coworkers and clients?
  • What organizational skills do you expect?

Company Culture
This step should be handled by your human resources officer or team. Have them speak with your new hire to explain details such as:
  • Dress Code
  • Arrival Time
  • Parking Locations
  • Building Access
  • Time-Off Policy

Mentor Assignment
Assign your new employee a mentor. This is to ensure they have the opportunity to seek help when needed and work productively. A mentor will help them learn about the job quickly and provide assistance through the transition.

Remember it is essential to assign a mentor that is well suited for your new hire. A mentor should not be in such a high status that your employee feels uncomfortable asking questions or seeking help.

ACA Reporting

While we cannot help find a mentor or train your new employee, we can help with all your ACA reporting. ACAwise is an all-in-one ACA reporting software designed to track and monitor your ACA compliance throughout the year. Then when it is time to e-file we will create Form 1095 and 1094 on your behalf! You will then review your forms and we will securely e-file directly with the IRS. We will even mail your recipient copies form our South Carolina based office when it is time to file.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Is Obamacare Gone? Tell The IRS That

Becuase of the widespread interest concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one would think that most American would be well informed about its current state. So is Obamacare gone? If so someone forgot to tell the IRS. According to research finding by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 68% of American know ACA is still in effect. But 68% of the general public are not aware of the Individual Mandate repeal. 

Is Obamacare Gone? Tell The IRS That

After five attempts to overhaul the current health care law, Republicans in Washington are involved in the sixth attempt that will be processed later this year. But for now, the ACA is here to stay….

Attempt #1: Repeal and Replace

On Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Republicans made their first efforts under the current administration to repeal and replace Obamacare. This effort raised the 51 votes needed to start the debate but fell short in the final Senate vote.

Nine Republican senators including conservative and moderators voted against the replacement plan. The proposed Senate bill allowed for a rollback on Medicaid expansion and capped spending budget, less comprehensive plans, and the elimination of the individual/employer mandate.

Attempt #2: Straight Repeal of Obamacare

Republican Senators came together to revise the 2015 GOP bill that was previously vetoed by former President Barack Obama. This would have introduced an amendment to bar federal dollars for abortion fundings. A simple majority was needed to pass the bill, but seven Republican Senators voted the measure down.

The bill would have repealed many of the regulations set down by the Affordable Care Act without implementing an immediate replacement. The plan was to have the health care bill repealed in two years giving lawmakers additional time to pass a replacement act.

Attempt #3: Skinny Repeal

Three Republican Senators effectively squashed the last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare as part of the budget process. With the party unable to push more sweeping legislation leadership crafted a “skinny” repeal plan that left much of the current Affordable Care Act in place. Medicaid and subsidies were to be left untouched, but this would have eliminated the individual/ employer mandate, and medical device tax.

Attempt #4: Graham-Cassidy

On September 30th, 2017 the budget reconciliation expired blocking the GOP’s opportunity to overhaul the Affordable Care Act with just 50 voters. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana revised their former draft of the Republican plan to repeal and efficiently replace Obamacare. This would install additional funding provisions and regulatory change aimed at securing senators support.

This plan would have eliminated the following: Medicaid expansion, cost-sharing subsidies, tax credits, and the Individual/Employer Mandate.

Attempt #5: GOP’s New Bill: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

On December 22nd President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act after the House passed the tax bill with a historical party-line vote. This tax reform bill reduces the federal budget deficit by approximately $318 billion by eliminating costs associated with the individual mandate.

Attempt #6: 20-State Coalition File Injunction Against Obamacare

A coalition of twenty U.S. states sued the federal government over Obamacare. They claim the law is no longer constitutional following the repeal of the Individual Mandate. Leading the lawsuit is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in partnership with the Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel. The case was filed Monday, February 26th, 2018 in the United States District Court Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division. The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief file as case number 4:18-cv-00167-O is a 33-page document stating the beliefs and understanding of the combined twenty states.

For more information on your ACA reporting and filing, obligations click here.

Affordable Care Act 2018

Despite the continued efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, your business will still be required by law to offer health coverage and report required information returns.

While the road ahead might be rocky, ACAwise will continue to provide full-service ACA reporting and compliance. Getting started is easy, and, with volume-based pricing, you will get the best deal available! Get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you smoothly record your ACA compliance.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

How to Motivate and Manage Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees are a great solution for the increase in demand, but they do come with their own set of challenges.
The countdown to summer has begun! As businesses across the nation prepare for the annual summer rush many will be adding a few more hands on deck to keep up with more customers. Seasonal employees are a great solution for the increase in demand, but they do come with their own set of challenges. Here is how to motivate and manage seasonal employees.

How to Motivate and Manage Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees are typically younger individuals coming from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, and they may require more training time than your year-round employees. But seasonal employees are key to achieving your business goals this season. Use this information to get your business, and your temporary hires set up for a successful summer season.

Recruiting Seasonal Staff

When it comes to hiring seasonal workers, it is important to start out on the right foot. When you start the recruiting process hire, the best seasonal employees. It may sound much easier said than done, but there is the simple secret you need to know: Hire early. Don’t wait until the last-minute to hire your workers. Employers should start hiring for summer positions in May, and for the holiday season, you should start in early August.

Give your business the best chance of hiring the best candidates by posting job ads before the busy season. You will have access to a bigger pool of candidates and have the time to vet your potential hires properly. This will also give you ample time to schedule and train your seasonal employees.

Seasonal Staff Vs. Year-Round Employees

Even though your seasonal will only be with you a few months, it is crucial you treat them the same as normal employees.Even though your seasonal employees will only be with you a few months, it is crucial you treat them the same as normal employees. This includes fair scheduling. Don’t schedule them only during the shifts your year-round employees don’t want. Avoid commenting on their limited tenure with your business.

If you divide your team into “year-round” and “seasonal” employees, it will make it hard to work as a team. Recognize and praise all employees for their performance and give them opportunities to learn. It is a fact that happy employees are more productive and have better sales. While your seasonal employees might not be a part of your team long, they are still a vital part of your summer sales. 

Seasonal Staff Training

The summer sales season is one of the busiest and stressful times of year for your business. You don’t want a poorly trained employee to slow down your team. It is tempting to skimp on training and get your employee working as fast as possible, but taking the time to properly train them will save you from future problems and headaches.

Remember while your seasonal staff might not be there long your customers are. Your staff members leave lasting impressions on your customers long after the season is over.

Seasonal Staff Expectations

Be upfront about the length of your seasonal employee's tenure with your business. While some employees wish to have a more permanent position, others are happy with the temporary commitment. If a more long-term position is available, it can be a great motivator during the season.

Going forward, make a habit of agreeing on a number of weeks or an end date when offering the seasonal position.

The ACA and Seasonal Staff

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) to offer health insurance to full-time employees (30+ hours per week). However, there is an exception for seasonal staff. If your business includes 50 or more full-time equivalent employees for no more than 120 days and the staff in excess at the time are seasonal workers, so your business is not considered an ALE.

However, if you are considered an ALE, you will need to offer coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours. But if you have a waiting period before health benefits go into effect, they may no longer be with your business.

Start The Season Off Right

Seasonal staff can be a challenge for anyone. But with careful planning, hiring, and training you can get your team ready to tackle your summer sales season. If you are looking for a full-service ACA reporting and compliance software, ACAwise is your answer. We offer volume-based pricing, so you know you are getting the best deal possible.

Sign-Up Today!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Today Is The ACA Reporting Deadline If You Filed An Extension

Man still needs to file his ACA reporting forms 1094 and 1095 after filing an extension Form 8809. He will need to file an IRS-authorized e-file provider like ACAwise before it is to late

If you filed for an automatic 30-day extension for your ACA reporting your time is officially up. Today is the ACA reporting deadline if you filed an extension Form 8809.

Today Is The ACA Reporting Deadline If You Filed An Extension

The original deadline for e-filing your ACA Form 1095 and 1094 was April 2nd. If you applied for an automatic 30-day extension with Form 8809 your new deadline is TODAY!

If you fail to file by midnight tonight, May 2nd, 2018 you will be obligated to pay hefty IRS penalties and interest. All Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators who filed Form 8809 are required to file ACA Form 1095 and 1094 by the extended ACA filing deadline.

Complete ACA Service

Choose the best ACA service available for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs). ACAwise offers volume-based pricing and US-based support to provide employers with the best ACA reporting service available. Our flexible pricing guarantees you are getting the best deal on the market today!

E-File ACA Forms

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Monday, April 30, 2018

What You Need To Know About Your ACA Reporting Extension?

If you filed Form 8809 to extend your Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting deadline here’s your friendly reminder that your new and extended deadline is coming up soon! So what do you need to know about your ACA reporting extension?

What You Need To Know About Your ACA Reporting Extension?

The original deadline for ACA reporting 2017 was April 2nd. If you applied for a 30-day extension with Form 8809 your new deadline is coming up on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018.

ACA Reporting Penalties You Want to Avoid

If you fail to file your 1094 and 1095 Forms by your extended deadline you could be facing hefty IRS penalties. All Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators who filed Form 8809 are required to file ACA Form 1095 and 1094 by the extended ACA filing deadline.

Failure to File/ Inaccurate Filing

Your business could potentially be penalized $260 - $520 per form if you fail to file a correct information return (1094 or 1095 Form), but this amount can not exceed $6 million in total.

Failure to E-file

If your business paper files 250 or more forms, you are required to e-file. If you fail to do so, then you will incur a $260 per form penalty.

Failure to Meet 95%

If you do not offer coverage to a minimum of 95% of full-time employees, your business will face a fine of $2,260 ($188.33 per month) per full-time employee.

Failure to Offer Coverage

If your business fails to offer affordable health coverage, you will be fined $3,390 ($282.50 per month) per full-time employee.

Complete ACA Service

Choose the best ACA service available for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs). ACAwise offers volume-based pricing and US-based support to provide employers with the best ACA reporting service available. Our flexible pricing guarantees you are getting the best deal on the market today!

Begin ACA Employer Reporting

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About 941 Form For 2018

Team preparing for the second quarter while human resources is preparing to file their first quarter 941 form for 2018
There’s always something to be learned from the first quarter to help you transition to the next. April marks two important milestones for human resources and business owners: 941 payroll tax and the start of the second quarter. Here is everything you need to know about 941 Form for 2018.

What Is IRS Form 941 For 2018?

IRS 941 Form, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is used to report employment taxes. If you own and operate a business with employees, you will likely need to file an IRS 941 Form four times a year. You, the employer, are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from each employee's paycheck. Form 941 for 2018 will also be used to calculate your portion of social security and Medicare tax for the first quarter.

Who Needs to File 941 Tax Form 2018?

Typically, all businesses that pay wages for employment are required to quarterly file an IRS 941 Form and continue to do so even if there are no employees during select quarters. However, the exceptions are seasonal employers and agricultural employees, who are not required to file each quarter.

What Will You Need to File?

To file, you will need your company/business details such as your EIN and preferably an Online Signature PIN. You don't necessarily need a PIN to file, however, it will make the process simpler. If you don’t possess a PIN, you will need to complete and e-sign either Form 8453-EMP.

Also, to file each quarter, you will need the following information: Number of employees, total paid wages, and the IRS tax amount you withheld during the quarter.

Where to Send Form 941?
You will need to submit your Form 941 for 2018 to the IRS by the first quarter deadline on April 30th. We recommend using our sister product, TaxBandits an IRS-Authorized e-filing service.

Don’t Have an Online Signature PIN?

Well, you’re in luck! TaxBandits will not only file your 2018 941 Form, but you can also apply for your Form 94x Online Signature PIN for FREE.
After filing their first quarter 941 form for 2018 this office team can get back to work and focus on the upcoming quarterSimply create or log in to your TaxBandits account and select the “Create New Form” option. Select the 94x Online Signature PIN Request option, and you will then be prompted to enter your employer details. If you are a returning user, you can conveniently select your current details from your address book. You will then arrive at the Request PIN screen where you will need to provide all the required information on your signing authority.

But Keep in Mind! It can take up to 45 days to receive your PIN. If you have not already applied, you will need to fill out Form 8453-EMP or 9979-EMP this quarter. But no worries- we have you covered, making filing quick, easy, and secure.

What if I File Late or Not at All!

Dun Dunn Dunnnnnnn!!! *Piercing screams in the distance*
A failure to file on time results in a 5% penalty on the tax return for each month the return is late. This penalty will cap at 25%.

The IRS will also heavily penalize you for late payment or not paying the full amount owed. You will be charged 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax depending on the number of days it remains unpaid.

File First Quarter 941 Form For 2018 With Confidence

We understand that after last week’s 2018 Tax Day deadline the very last thing you want to worry about it more taxes. Which we why we suggest our sister product, TaxBandits as a simple solution that makes your 941 tax filing easy. They pride themselves on being an IRS-authorized provider with a safe, secure, and accurate e-filing process that will save you time and money.

File 2018 Form 941

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Today Is The Last Day For You To File Your 2018 Tax Return

The IRS website malfunctioned yesterday causing issues for millions of tax filers across the nation. The estimated 5 million taxpayers who waited to file their income tax returns until yesterday were met with a system failure that advised filer to “come back on Dec. 31 9999.” Today is the last day for you to file your 2018 tax return.

April 18th, 2018 is Tax Day 2018

Today Is The Last Day For You To File Your 2018 Tax Return

The system malfunction began early on Tuesday, April 17 and was not resolved until the evening. The malfunction crippled a crucial part of the website that allows taxpayers to file income tax returns and pay taxes online.

When Is The Last Day To File Taxes 2018?

Last night the IRS officially announced it would extend the deadline for filing your income tax return and extensions. Due to system issues, individuals and businesses with a filing or payment deadline on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 now have until midnight tonight.

“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”

How to Get a Tax Extension?

The IRS has also advised taxpayers needing additional time to file income tax extension 2018 for an automatic six-month extension.

You can file an income tax extension for 2018 quickly and easily with our sister product, ExpressExtension. Our step-by-step filing process is equipped with built-in audits to ensure error-free filing of your Form 4868. When you file your income tax extension for 2018 online, you will have until October 15 to file your Federal Income Tax Return.

Apply For Tax Extension Form 4868

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Monday, April 16, 2018

What is The Penalty For Filing a Tax Return Late?

Busy man realizes that the deadline to file his income tax return is tomorrow and he is staring down hefty IRS penalitesOne of the most dreaded days of the calendar year for many Americans is here! That’s right, the deadline for filing your income tax return is tomorrow April 17th, 2018. If you are not ready to file your federal tax return here is a quick guide to the potential tax penalties you might face. You may be asking yourself, what is the penalty for filing a tax return late?

What is The Penalty For Filing a Tax Return Late?

If you owe taxes and do not file a tax return or file for an extension by tomorrow's deadline you will incur various penalties and interest. However, penalties generally don’t apply when you are expecting a tax refund and fail to file a tax return.

The penalties for failing to file a tax return or tax extension are much higher than failing to pay taxes owed. 

Penalties For Late Tax Payment

Trying to file from the penalty for filing a tax return late might be the best ideaAt the mention of IRS penalties, you might choose the bury-your-head-in-the-sand option this tax season. However, the penalties and interest for not filing a return or tax extension are notably worse than failing to pay taxes owed.

If you fail to pay at least 90 percent of the full amount owed on time, you will be charged a late payment penalty of .5 percent for each month the tax remains unpaid. This will continue until the tax amount is paid in full or the penalty reaches the maximum 25% penalty.

The .5 percent rate will increase to one percent ten days after the IRS issues the notice of intent to levy.

Penalties For Late Tax Filing

If you fail to file your tax return or tax extension you will be charged 5 percent of the taxes owed each month your return is late. This amount will be capped at 25% after five months of incompliance. The minimum penalty amount for filing your return late is the smaller of $100 or 100 percent of your owed tax amount.

I Need More Time to File My Tax Return?

It is understandable that you have a lot on your plate and meeting this deadline is difficult. If you are unable to file your federal income tax return by tomorrow's deadline you must file an income tax extension.

What is IRS Extension Form 4868?

IRS Form 4868 is the 1040 extension formally titled the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. If you need to file tax extension Form 4868, you will need to e-file by midnight tomorrow. If you file by the tax extension deadline, you will receive an additional six months to file your tax return without incurring IRS penalties.

Where Can I File My Tax Extension Online?

You can file tax extension Form 4868 quickly and easily with our sister product ExpressExtension. Their step-by-step interview-style process is equipped with built-in audits to ensure error-free filing. When you file your tax extension online, you will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours notifying you that your IRS extension was accepted.

Avoid Penalties By Filing a Tax Extension

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

What You Need To Know About Filing An Income Tax Extension?

If you are not able to complete your federal tax return by the April 17th deadline, you will need to file for an IRS extension. Here is what you need to know about filing an income tax extension.

What You Need To Know About Filing An Income Tax Extension?

Personal Income Tax Overview

April 15th is the personal income tax deadline unless it falls on a holiday or a weekend like 2018. This year your personal income tax deadline is April 17th.

If you have trouble meeting this deadline, you can apply for an automatic extension of time to file using Form 4868. The IRS will grant this extension regardless of your reasons for needing to file.

So if this year's deadline snuck up on you, it is ok! This tax extension will give you an extra six months to file your federal income tax return.

How To File For An Income Tax Extension?

Step 1: Calculate Estimated Taxes Owed
You will need to estimate the amount of taxes you owe for the previous year. You can do this by simply subtracting the total tax amount withheld from your paycheck and your estimated tax payment from the tax amount you owe to the IRS.

Before you estimate your liability amount be sure to reduce your income by all applicable exemptions and deductions.

Use the 2017 tax tables to estimate the amount you owe on your tax return. If you do not pay the full amount you may owe interest and penalties. 

Step 2: Create Your ExpressExtension Account
You will need to create a free account with our sister product and click “Create Personal Tax Extension” from your account Dashboard. At this point, you can pay your income taxes.

The application for your automatic income tax extension of time required very minimal information. However, we will guide you through step-by-step to ensure your information is filed correctly. 

You will need the following income tax information:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number

Step 3: Submit Income Tax Extension to The IRS
Once you have completed and reviewed your Form 4868, you can then submit directly to the IRS. When the IRS accepts your form, you will be notified immediately via email.

Please keep in mind that while Form 4868 does provide you with an extension of time to file you are still required to pay 100 percent of your owed taxes. The deadline for submitting your personal income taxes is April 17th, 2018.

Do You Want More Time to File Your Federal Income Taxes?

Are you struggling with a busy schedule?

Need more time to file your file IRS tax return? 

Don't file in a rush and make mistakes trying to meet the April 17th deadline. Join our webinar and learn how you can receive up to an additional 6-months to file your personal tax return.

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